Why won't my dog eat? Things to look out for.

Maltese Dog Breed Health Problems

Maltese Dog Breed Health Problems

The Maltese is a lovely puppy with a bold personality, which has become very popular. If you want a very small and intelligent dog to run your home, then this is the perfect breed for you. Maltese puppies are designed to love and to be loved. In general, the Maltese is a healthy puppy, but he can develop certain Maltese dog breed health problems.

Maltese Dog Breed Health Problems
Snowdrop, Morag Bates, Flickr

Maltese dog breed health problems and life expectancy

Maltese dogs are generally healthy and have a lifespan of 12 years or more. However, the breed can be susceptible to suffer from several health problems.

Maltese puppies, like any other dogs, have the potential to develop genetic health problems. But not all Maltese health issues are hereditary. If you buy a Maltese dog from a breeder, you should ask for a genetic history to avoid hereditary diseases.

Many Maltese illnesses are related to their size. Some are genetic, some acquired. Tiny puppies like Maltese are fragile and they can suffer from different diseases. If you are thinking of getting a Maltese, there are a few Maltese dog breed health problems that may affect this breed. Not all the Maltese will be affected by these common diseases, but you should know that they are more predisposed to these illnesses.

Maltese Dog Breed Health Problems

Eye problems

Maltese are prone to retinal atrophy, a disease that affects vision in dim lighting. The symptoms are bumping into objects or becoming disoriented. Other Maltese puppies’ health issues related to eyes are conjunctivitis, corneal abrasions, corneal ulcers. Corneal abrasions and ulcers are caused by scratches.

Dental problems

Many small breeds suffer from tooth and gum diseases caused by the overcrowding of teeth in their mouths. They can suffer from tartar and plaque buildup, which untreated, can cause periodontal disease. Regular dental care is essential for Maltese puppies.


Hypoglycemia is one of the most common health issues with Maltese dogs. A hypoglycemic dog has an abnormally low blood sugar. Signs of hypoglycemia are: lethargy, weakness, restlessness, and tremors.

Liver shunt

Liver shunt is one of Maltese illnesses, meaning that the dog’s circulatory system doesn’t develop correctly, affecting the liver.  Symptoms include vomiting, seizures, disorientation, pacing and general unthriftiness. Maltese puppies with this condition are usually weaker and smaller in size. This disease can be corrected by surgery.

Maltese Dog Breed Health Problems

Luxating patella

Luxating patella is a congenital disease, with the main symptom being an intermittent hopping on the limb when the patella pops out of place. Sometimes this Maltese illness may need surgical correction.


Another health problem with teacup Maltese is colitis. Colitis is an inflammation of the large intestine. Symptoms include diarrhea, painful elimination, constipation, vomiting and mucus or blood in the feces.

Tracheal collapse

One of the Maltese dog breed health problems are collapsed trachea. This condition occurs also in breeds like: Chihuahuas, Pomeranians, Maltese, and Toy Poodles. Tracheal collapse means that the tracheal rings do not possess normal rigidity. resulting in the collapse of the trachea wall as the dog inhales.

How to prevent health problems in Maltese dogs?

A loving Maltese owner should do everything possible to keep his dog healthy by giving him preventive care, healthy food and proper exercise. To keep your dog healthy and happy, you should establish a routine, which is very helpful not only for your dog, but also for you.

You should also do a daily health check to be sure that your Maltese does not have any illnesses.  Does your dog look tired, has he any allergies, are there any changes in his appetite, is he losing weight? Any of these problems and many others should be a signal or a warning for Maltese dog breed health problems and should send you right to the vet.

Maltese dog breed health problems

Author Bio: This guest post is by Doug of Norcal Pup.  Doug has been a pet owner for his entire life and has enjoyed every minute of it. Doug’s family and the animals they care for are his absolute passion in life. He truly enjoys caring for puppies and takes pride in doing so daily. He has made it his mission to provide care for the best puppies to the best customers. Doug enjoys sharing his pet knowledge and experiences in hopes that others will learn from them.


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11 thoughts on “Maltese Dog Breed Health Problems

  1. I have a ten year old Maltese. Just recently she started which sounds like a honking cough, then seem like she is trying to spit something up but nothing comes out. Then she will just lay flat on the floor and not move for quite sometime. Once I when to pick her up and she felt like she past out. I’m scared!

    • I’ve had dogs do that very same thing, LC; a honking cough and seeming to try to spit something out. I’m not an expert but I think you should take her to the vet soon. A cough can mean a variety of things — some of them serious. It may be nothing, but the sooner you know that, the better. Keep in touch!

  2. My Maltese is lethargic and has an overly amount of drool. And once in a while will have a cough that sounds like a goose honk. Any suggestions?

  3. Hello my name is Susana and I have a Maltese dog I have a problem ,I find today that she has a little ball under the ear,please I need to find out can I send you a picture of the little ball can you tell me what exactly is that plese.
    Thank you very much

  4. If problematic behaviors pop up, contact your local animal shelter or animal welfare
    organization for more pet care tips. I would also
    add one further healing process which some people feel the need to help them find closure.
    Obviously this is far from how you are feeling, so you will need to put on a
    brave show.
    miniature Schnauzer Puppies recently posted…miniature Schnauzer PuppiesMy Profile

    • I can’t blame your friend for falling in love with a Maltese! They are such a nice little dog, with good looks and good manners. I’m glad you came by, Alana. Until next time …

    • Thanks for taking the time to read my Maltese post, Francene, even though you had no need for it. I love learning about different dog breeds. We’re all so different, aren’t we? Take care! 🙂

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